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After having been twice driven back by heavy south-western gales, Her Majesty's ship Beagle" a ten-gun brig, under the command of Captain Fitz Roy, R.N., sailed from Devonport on the 27th of December, 1831. The object of the expedition was to complete the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, commenced under Captain King in 1826 to 1830--to survey the shores of Chile, Peru, and of some islands in the Pacific--and to carry a chain of... more...

The writing of historical biography is properly a work of partnership, to which public credit is awarded too often in an inverse proportion to the labours expended. One group of historians, labouring in the obscurest depths, dig and prepare the ground, searching and sifting the documentary soil with infinite labour and over an area immensely wide. They are followed by those scholars and specialists in history who give their lives to the study of... more...

Thirty-five years ago I made a voyage to the Arctic Seas in what Chaucer calls   A little boteNo bigger than a mannë’s thought; it was a Phantom Ship that made some voyages to different parts of the world which were recorded in early numbers of Charles Dickens’s “Household Words.”  As preface to Richard Hakluyt’s records of the first endeavour of our bold Elizabethan mariners to find North-West... more...

CHAPTER I THE LAND AND ITS PEOPLE The island of Newfoundland, which is the tenth largest in the world, is about 1640 miles distant from Ireland, and of all the American coast is the nearest point to the Old World. Its relative position in the northern hemisphere may well be indicated by saying that the most northern point at Belle Isle Strait is in the same latitude as that of Edinburgh, whilst St. John's, near the southern extremity, lies in... more...

Chapter I. FAMILY, YOUTH and INFLUENCES Jean-Francois Galaup, Comte De Laperouse, was born at Albi, on August 23, 1741. His birthplace is the chief town in the Department of Tarn, lying at the centre of the fruitful province of Languedoc, in the south of France. It boasts a fine old Gothic cathedral, enriched with much noble carving and brilliant fresco painting; and its history gives it some importance in the lurid and exciting annals of... more...


The colony had been established many years before any successful attempt had been made to penetrate into the interior of the country, by crossing the range of hills, known to the colonists as the Blue Mountains: these mountains were considered as the boundary of the settlements westward, the country beyond them being deemed inaccessible. The year 1813 proving extremely dry, the grass was nearly all destroyed, and the water failed; the horned... more...

NOTICE OF WILLIAM GRIFFITH, from the Proceedings of the Linnæan Society, with a few extracts from his private correspondence. “WILLIAM GRIFFITH, Esq., the youngest son of the late Thomas Griffith, was born on the 4th of March 1810, at his father’s residence at Ham Common, near Kingston-upon-Thames, in the county of Surrey. “He was educated for the Medical profession, and completed his studies at the London University,... more...

Richard Hakluyt, notwithstanding the Dutch look of his name, was of a good British stock, from Wales or the Welsh borders. At the beginning of the fourteenth century an ancestor of his, Hugo Hakelute, sat in Parliament as member for Leominster. Richard Hakluyt, born about five years before the accession of Queen Elizabeth, was a boy at Westminster School, when visits to a cousin in the Middle Temple, also a Richard Hakluyt, first planted in him... more...

INTRODUCTION Biographical Note Two years before the mast were but an episode in the life of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.; yet the narrative in which he details the experiences of that period is, perhaps, his chief claim to a wide remembrance. His services in other than literary fields occupied the greater part of his life, but they brought him comparatively small recognition and many disappointments. His happiest associations were literary, his... more...

The year 1826 was remarkable for the commencement of one of those fearful droughts to which we have reason to believe the climate of New South Wales is periodically subject. It continued during the two following years with unabated severity. The surface of the earth became so parched up that minor vegetation ceased upon it. Culinary herbs were raised with difficulty, and crops failed even in the most favourable situations. Settlers drove their... more...